Defend and promote children’s rights for the development and implementation of child inclusive public policies
This pillar works towards realizing these SDGs
While Virlanie’s field-based interventions make a difference in our beneficiaries’ lives, we believe that structural reforms are essential to bring long term change, ensure equity and guarantee human rights, freedom of expression and the true meaning of peace and democracy. Therefore, Virlanie is part of different children’s rights advocacy networks (Child Rights Network, Association of Child Caring Agencies of the Philippines, National Council of Social Development, Makati City Council for the Protection of Children, Dynamo International Network of Social Street Workers, Consortium for Street Children) pushing to pass child-inclusive policies into laws.
In 2019, our primary advocacies are:
- Promotion of Street Education (Pillar 2)
- Access to Universal HealthCare (Pillar 4)
- Inclusive Education (Pillar 5)
- Social Entrepreneurship (Pillar 6)
- Social Inclusion of Youth with special needs (Pillar 6)
Want to know more about Advocacy Pillar?
JAIL IS NO PLACE FOR A CHILD
In recent years, Children in Conflict with the Law (CICL) have often appeared as highly discriminated and despised amongst law offenders. Too young to be seen as grown-up adults by the law, various government units are facing challenges on how to deal with the problem on juvenile delinquency. Virlanie, as a Foundation that believes in engaging every Filipino child in “socially useful activities and adopting humanistic orientations towards society and outlook on life” (Riyadh Guidelines, 1990) and in standing up for their rights, has encouraged every government to establish child-friendly centers that would shelter children and help them develop good moral values and norms.
Together with Child Rights Network (CRN), Virlanie is part of the campaign #ChildrenNotCriminal. This campaign seeks to block several current proposals in Congress to lower the minimum age of criminal responsibility in the Philippines from the current 15 to as young as 9 years old. It also supports moves to strengthen the Juvenile Justice and Welfare Act of 2006 (RA 9344), as amended by RA 10630, an Act establishing the Bahay Bag-Asa (House of Hope), and its implementation.
“Jail is NOT a place for children to grow and learn. They still have lots of things to learn that need to be corrected during their minority age, and this should happen in a home where they will be given more opportunities.”
VIRLANIE STANDS FOR LIFE
Since 2006, the Philippines was part of other countries worldwide that abolished the death penalty. However, the so called “war on drugs” that President Rodrigo Duterte launched since he has taken power in June 2016 has seriously questioned that legal advance. With the current situation of Philippines’ police operations against drugs, there has been a more lenient stance to taking lives.
Virlanie has always stand to defend the right to life, which is recognized by the international community as one of the most fundamental human right. We condone and are strongly against the killing of any individual, especially parents because it leaves their children unprotected and in many instances, neglected, abandoned, humiliated, and abused. We do not want the minds of the innocent children in the streets, to witness execution before their very eyes. The fact that this happens in the frame of a legal police operation does not jeopardizes its severity and the traumatisms it triggers.
We believe in finding creative and innovative ways to help those guardians/parents/individuals addicted and to support the children left behind regardless of their financial status in life.
Independent Living Program beneficiary and Children’s Rights Advocate
Liza was among the 25 young leaders from the National Capital Region who were chosen as participants for the training called “Too Young, Too Soon”. This policy advocacy training for youth leaders was organized by the Philippine Legislators’ Committee on Population and Development (PLCPD) through the Creating Spaces to Take Action on Violence against Women and Girls project. During the said training, they were able to learn more about the issue, and became advocates themselves, as they were given a chance to talk to legislators.
According to Liza, “In NCR, – we will do to them what they (PLCDP) did to us, so we can educate them, give them knowledge about our advocacy. Because here in the communities, especially in NCR, this issue is not talked about. They don’t know anything about it. Some people think it’s only in story books.”
“We are already planning to conduct trainings and symposium for the communities so they can be aware of the issues faced by children.”
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Virlanie Foundation is a private, non-profit organization reaching out to street children in the Philippines. Virlanie cares for children in need of special protection—those who are abandoned, abused, exploited, neglected, orphaned, and among the poorest of the poor.